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GM A.J. Smith Claims Chargers Never Planned On Letting Sproles Go

One of the more interesting stories floating around over the last 24 hours involves the San Diego Chargers and RB Darren Sproles. According to widespread reports, GM A.J. Smith had determined prior to free agency that he was not going to tender Sproles because it would cost over $7 million.

In the days and hours leading up to free agency, rumors began circulating that the Kansas City Chiefs were interested in his services. On Thursday morning, it was reported that Sproles even had a visit set up this weekend with the Chiefs (ignoring the obvious tampering there).

Following the news of the reported visit to the Chiefs, the Chargers decided to retain Sproles with a first and third round tender.

So the obvious question asked by myself and others including ESPN's Adam Schefter early this morning was whether Smith had caught wind of the rumors linking him to the Chiefs and decided to pull the plug.

That seems like a very plausible scenario but, according to Smith, the Chargers planned to tender Sproles all along.

"There wasn't any changing of the mind," Smith told SI's Peter King. "It took on a life of its own that he wouldn't be tendered but we never told anyone that. People made an interpretation and it took on a life of its own."

Even with all that, reports indicate that "for the right deal" Sproles is still available.

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